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Teaching Academy adds 25, plans workshops and mentoring

By Beverly Makhani, Office of Undergraduate Education
And Will Ferguson, College of Arts & Sciences

medal-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Twenty-five educators with a passion to improve teaching and learning at Washington State University were inducted into the WSU Teaching Academy this month.

“We are excited to more than double our membership and expand our reach and impact with these exceptional and successful teachers,” said Chuck Munson, business professor and chair of the academy.

He said a larger “labor force” of members will make it possible to increase activities. A fall call for applications and review by a selection committee resulted in the 25 new members, raising membership to 48.

“To be in line with other universities of similar size, the Teaching Academy membership might reach as high as 100 or more within the next five years,” he said.

For more information about the academy, visit the website at http://vpue.wsu.edu/teaching-academy/.

E-learning, focus groups planned for faculty

Scheduled for spring are at least five faculty-led workshops about e-learning as a way to improve student learning, offered in coordination with the Office of the Provost and the eLearning Services Group in WSU Global Campus. Some new academy members have been featured in similar workshops, available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlvLsmKDSvg&list=PLfc8xr2fsKHfslPTEbeVLL4ob18aok9P1.

In January, the academy will present its annual Graduate Teaching Workshop, sponsored by the WSU Graduate School. See http://gradschool.wsu.edu/teaching-resources/.

Munson also hopes that the academy can host focus groups to determine what faculty want and need to help their teaching efforts.

“In addition, we are seriously considering creating, under the direction of member Michael Delahoyde, a book of reflections on teaching by some of the academy members,” Munson said.

Expansion of membership, activities

In fall 2013, academy members submitted a proposal to Daniel J. Bernardo, then interim provost, calling for expanding membership, offering peer reviews and mentoring to assist faculty in creating teaching portfolios, and participating in new faculty orientation.

Members also offered assistance in developing recommendations to improve the evaluation of teaching across the campuses and to increase involvement with various e-learning methodologies for WSU courses.

“The members of the Teaching Academy make a difference each day to the thousands of students they teach and the other faculty members they mentor,” said Bernardo, provost and executive vice president. “All of the members exemplify teaching excellence. Each has that unique component to their instruction that motivates students.”

Award-winning teachers inducted

The 25 new members include tenured, tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty. They represent all WSU campuses and most colleges. Most, if not all, have won awards for teaching excellence.

Teaching-medal-200
New WSU Teaching Academy members received medallions at the recent induction ceremony.

Listed in alphabetical order with their programs and campuses (if not Pullman), they are:

Andrea Aebersold, English, WSU Tri-Cities

Jennifer Beller, educational leadership, sport studies and educational/counseling psychology

Nick Cerruti, physics and astronomy

Sheila Converse, music

Sabine Davis, foreign languages and cultures

Joy Egbert, teaching and learning

Janet Hart Frost, teaching and learning, WSU Spokane

Samantha Gizerian, integrative physiology and neuroscience

Jerry Goodstein, management, information systems and entrepreneurship, WSU Vancouver

Cassandra Gulam, foreign languages and cultures, WSU Vancouver

Ella Inglebret, speech and hearing sciences, WSU Spokane

Roberta Kelly, communication

Laura Lavine, entomology

Sue Marsh, pharmacy, WSU Spokane

Marie Mayes, management, information systems and entrepreneurship

Phil Mixter, molecular biosciences

Andy O’Fallon, electrical engineering and computer science

Chuck Pezeshki, mechanical and materials engineering

Donelle (Dee) Posey, psychology

Dennis Reynolds, hospitality business management

Jennifer Robinson, pharmacy, WSU Spokane

Clif Stratton, history

Mark Swanson, environment

Samantha Swindell, psychology

Kate Watts, English

Mission to advance teaching and learning

The 2000-2002 WSU strategic planning process identified the need for a high-level advocacy group to advance the teaching mission at WSU, and in fall 2003 President V. Lane Rawlins and Provost Robert C. Bates authorized formation of a President’s Teaching Academy.

In spring 2004, 12 founding members were selected from nominations from the academic units and urban campuses. In 2007, the academy expanded with 19 new members. Attrition due to such things as retirements reduced membership to 23 heading into 2014.

The academy’s charge has evolved into enhancing teaching and learning on campus and beyond.

Over the years, members have volunteered for many assignments. They assisted in establishing learning goals and outcomes for undergraduates, hosted international teaching experts at symposia, conducted workshops with the Graduate School to enhance the skills of teaching assistants, created awards and judged nominations recognizing outstanding educators, judged teaching and learning grant applications, and developed a set of performance criteria for scholarship of teaching and learning.

They supported establishing the Office of Undergraduate Research (part of the Office of Undergraduate Education) to engage students in hands-on learning and critical thinking. The academy works closely with Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Mary F. Wack as it plans its workshops and events.

 

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